South Africa’s largest historic racing extravaganza will take place at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria this weekend – January 27, 28 and 29.
The 16th Passion for Speed event will see more than 450 race cars and motorcycles take to the Zwartkops tarmac, with some 40 of them hailing from overseas.
The top spectator drawcard should be Saturday’s two races for SKF V8 Legend Production Cars, with maestro Sarel van der Merwe making his annual racing comeback in the Zwartkops circuit’s Ford Galaxie.
Taking him on will be drivers like Leeroy Poulter (Black Widow Chev BelAir), Hennie Groenewald (Plymouth Fury), Mark du Toit (Chevrolet Biscayne), Paolo Cavalieri (Ford Galaxie), Willie Hepburn (Studebaker Golden Hawk), Jonathan du Toit (Chevrolet Nova), Chad ten Doeschate (Ford Mustang) and Ferdi van Niekerk (Ford Galaxie).
Representing Holland will be Michiel Campagne Ford Galaxie.
The day’s fastest events should be those for Pre-1974 Sports Racing Prototypes, Champion of Champions and Trans-Am cars.
Front runners should include Peter Bailey (Porsche 917), Roman de Beer (Genie Lola T70), Colin Ellison (Chevron B19), Grant van Schalkwyk (Maranello 418SP), Jonathan du Toit (Chevron B8), Franco Scribante (Chevron B19), Andre’Bezuidenhout (Porsche RSR), Tim Cousins (Chevron B23), Lee Thompson (Ecosse) and Keegan Campos (Porsche RSR).
Top Trans-Am contenders will include Robbi Smith (Ford Capri Perana), Michiel Campagne (Chev Corvette), with top Champion of Champions drivers Ben Morgenrood (Ford Mustang), Marius Roberts (Ford Mustang) and Thomas Falkiner (Ford Mustang).
Officially, the day’s main event will be a 45-minute South African Tourist Trophy race for Pre-1968 Le Mans Sports and GT cars.
Front runners will include Rui Campos (Lola T70), Donald Duncan (McLaren), Mark Lauth (Lola Mk3), Mark/ Jonathan du Toit (Lola T70), Sarel van der Merwe/ Michael Briggs (Daytona Coupe), Jan Kling/ Robert Enestedt (Ford GT40), Kennet Persson/ Haikan Phil (Ford GT40), Dave Smithies/ Chris Clarkson (Austin Healy 3000), Mike/Richard Knight (Austin Healy 3000), Djurk Venter (Daytona Coupe) and Oliver Dalais (Ford GT40).
Competitors will be required to make a three-minute pit stop during the race, at the time of their choosing.
The SKF races for Under Two-litre Production and Pre-1966 Sports cars should see tough competition between Shane Baartman Alfa Romeo GT), Shaun Cabrita (Alfa Giulietta), Trevor Tuck (Alfa Giulietta), Denzil Bhana (Austin Cooper S) and Mike O’Sullivan (BMW 2000).
Leading the sports car brigade should be drivers like Chris Clarke (Morgan +4), Colin Elstrom (TVR), Bill Watt (Lotus Elan), Chris O’Neil (Jaguar E-Type), plus Austin Healy 3000 entrants Chris Clarkson, Richard Knight, Tim Jarvis, Jack Chatham and Steve Bicknell.
Shaun Cabrita (Mini Marcos), Terance Tracey (Ginetta), Vic Campher (Volvo P1800), Keith van Heerden (Jaguar D-Type), Chad ten Doeschate (GSM Dart) and Ishmael Baloyi (GSM Dart) should be the people to beat in the SKF Little Giant races for Pre-1968 Production sports and GT cars.
A total of 49 competitors will tackle the races for Pre-1984 Classic Production Cars, with people like Anton Raath (Mazda S100), Chris Davison (Opel Superboss), Michael Briggs (BMW E30), Paige Lindenberg (Ford Fairlane), Dave Kopke (Mazda R100), Graeme Nathan (BMW E9), Geoff Mortimer (BMW 2002), Jannie van Rooyen (VW Scirocco) and Neil Lobb (Fiat 131) in the front ranks.
Single-seater enthusiasts will not be left out in the cold.
The Wings and Slicks category will see Colin Ellison (Ralt RT4) taking on Ian Schofield (March 77B), Neil Lobb (Chevron B29), Peter Kernick (Maurer) and Dino Scribante (March).
The Historic Single Seaters will bring more than 25 cars to the party, including Chris Clarke (Titan), Stuart Thompson (Palliser), Des Hillary (Dulon), Graham Vos (Dulon), Clive Winterstein (Elva Porsche) and Donny Lamola (Van Diemen).
The Historic Pursuit Racing Challenge brigade should provide excellent handicap racing, with top contenders like Kobus Roets (Jaguar 3,8S), Johan Swanepoel (Fiat 124 Sport), Wynand van der Merwe (Porsche 911), Henry Fourie (Alfa Berlina), Ken Price (Datsun GX Coupe) and Warrick Eva (MGA).
Adding modern spectacle will be two races for G&H Transport Extreme Supercars, with top entries those of people like Charl Arangies (Lamborghini Galardo), Greg Parton (KTM X-Bow), Franco Scribante (Ferrari 430), Dawie Olivier (BMW M3), Mark du Toit (Ferrari 360), Jason Campos (BMW M3 GT), Jonathan Shenkman (Lamborghini Galardo), Andre van der Merwe (Ferrari 360), Oliver dalais (Bailey GT) and Ricky Giannoccaro (BMW M3 GTR).
A special Liqui Moly Challenge will see seven Ferraris on the circuit, driven by people like Jaki Scheckter, Mark du Toit, Charl Arangies and Loris Chiappa.
The Sabat Lotus Challenge will boast an entry of 20 competitors, including Thomas Falkiner (Taylon 7), Jeffrey Kruger (Birkin 7), Jeff Gable (Birkin 7), Jannie van Niekerk (Lotus 7) and Sean Hewitt (Birkin 7).
The Zwartkops gates will be open from 8am on Friday and 6am Saturday and Sunday.
Food and drink will be on sale or you can take your own.
All spectators are welcome to visit the pits on foot at any time, and the circuit’s Mini Moke taxi trains will run between the pit gate and the various spectator areas throughout all three days.
The pits will have a kiddies’ corner, live entertainment and vendor stalls.
Weekend tickets to Zwartkops will cost R200 per adult and R130 per student.
Presold tickets from Computicket or the Zwartkops office will cost R180 per adult and R110 per student.
Tickets for Friday or Sunday only will come to R100 per adult and R80 per student.
Tickets bought at the gate on Saturday will cost R200 per adult and R130 per student.
On all the days, children under the age of 12 will go in for free.
For more information, call the Zwartkops office at 012 384 2299